July 13, 2009

I was not excited to head back to Toronto from the cottage last night.

The thought of another week in the city and another five days away from the cottage did not sit well with me. Further depressing was the thought of the drive home along Highway 11 and 400, a series of highways which saw some major accidents this over the weekend, such as a bicycler on Highway 11 killed/injured and a school bus flipping over on Highway 400. As such, I decided to take the more scenic route down the east side of Lake Simcoe continuing down the 404 and the DVP. Thanks to the scenic route, I arrived home refreshed and ready to start a new week!

Entering Toronto along the DVP at sunset is a beautiful site.

To start with, the drive gives a full view of downtown Toronto, all the construction lets you feel the magnificent power of the numerous cranes. From the drive I was able to count 9 cranes, which I think were mostly situated in the Queen West neighbourhood and in the financial district. The scale of activity is eye-popping. Don’t believe me? Think about this: at Concord CityPlace, an 18-hectare master-planned community, there will be 21 condo towers along with town homes and lofts. This community will also feature a large park, while the entire site was once railroad lands. In fact, this will be a city-within-a-city, housing more than 16,000 people. See Parade Condos, as an example of this new community. Toronto has become North America’s biggest condo market, with more units now under development than Manhattan, Chicago and Los Angeles. All this activity, which was seen and felt along the DVP, brought me back to reality, and prepared me for the week ahead.

Then I noticed the amount of greenery in Toronto; it is easy to notice this green while atop of hi-rise construction sites, but there is something about being on ground level and noticing it that is special. Toronto is becoming a more densely built city, with many intensification projects underway, but at the same time is maintaining a green feel, and an abundance of parks. Coming back from the cottage along the 400, I normally am used to seeing industrial complexes and concrete. I don’t know how green Toronto actually is (I am sure a quick online search could find out), but take the DVP, and you are engulfed in green!

To top off my return home, as I drove along Dundas Street East, through Regent Park, I noticed some children holding a $4 car wash and couldn’t resist. After chatting with the families washing the cars, I was informed that the car-wash was raising money for an after-school program, and that they would be holding the car wash every Saturday and Sunday for the entire summer. Amazing! I am sure that they enjoyed the hefty tip!

Anyone who knows me will agree that I am a huge cottager. To me, there is nothing better than sitting on my dock with a bourbon, a cigar and a good book. But, this weekend, the drive home turned into a highlight. My days of returning home on Highway 400 are over; the secret of the east-side of Lake Simcoe has been revealed.

Matthew Slutsky
President / Founder


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